Friday, March 6, 2009

More Good Math

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the next several months. I feel truly blessed to be participating in this review group and I'm looking forward to trying out the products and giving you my honest opinion.

Yes, I'm writing to tell you about another great math product and believe me when I tell you, you're going to want to hear about it.

You see math and I have a very sordid past. It all started in 3rd grade when I missed a few days of school due to being sick. When I came back all the other kids had memorized half of their multiplication tables and I was desperately behind. For the rest of my public education, I always felt as if math just wasn't my subject and I was always trying to catch up with the rest of the class.

Skip ahead to my oldest son telling me in 1st grade he wants to learn times tables. We have frequent conversations that go something like this:

Me: "G...what time is it?"
G (immediately): "37 minutes until 4:00, Mom."


At the grocery store...
Checkout lady: "That will be $23.44."
G: "Just 56 cents more and it would be $24, Mom."

Well, it seems my young man is math-minded. And it has been a difficult search to find the right math curriculum to fit his brain and my sanity...and by that, I mean one that doesn't require me to gather materials, cut out shapes, and give lengthy instructions and demonstrations on the board. This is very important to me since I have several kids to teach, all on different math levels.

By December of this year, I was completely fed up with the math program we were using. It wasn't challenging G8 and was taking up way too much time to teach and prepare. That's when I got the email from Maria Miller asking me to review Math Mammoth. I started using Math Mammoth Lightblue Series Grade 1 with A7 and the Math Mammoth Lightblue Series Grade 2 for G8 in January. I have been SO PLEASED with this program and have already decided to continue with the 3rd grade books as soon as we are finished using the ones we have.

I received Math Mammoth as a downloadable ebook, though if you prefer consumable print versions are available. Each grade has two Lightblue Series books that can be purchased together or separately. For example, we received both Math Mammoth Lightblue Series Grade 2A and 2B books and teacher's answer keys. Books 2A and 2B together are a complete 2nd grade math curriculum. There is no teacher's manual but there are notes for the teacher included in the introduction of each chapter. Maria Miller answers this in her own words:

"I've tried to create a text that is as self-explanatory as possible, so that a separate manual wouldn't be needed. This saves time for the teacher. Also, many elementary students will be able to just read and learn through the lessons on their own (once they can read)."

Exactly what I was looking for! Most days both my 2nd grader and 1st grader complete their math work on their own while I am working one-on-one with my Kindergartner and Pre-K student. Occasionally they will need my attention briefly to explain a problem or section they don't understand.

Concepts covered in the 1st grade curriculum include:
Addition and subtraction (starting with 0-10 and eventually 0-100)
Place values (ones and tens)
Shapes and Measuring
Counting coins

Concepts covered in the 2nd grade curriculum include:
Addition and Subtraction
Carrying and Borrowing
Place Value to 1000
Mental math

Each chapter of Math Mammoth includes several links to games and sites for further learning and play with the subject being covered. The only real downside to this program that I can find is that it is strictly workbook oriented. Math manipulatives are rarely mentioned, but could easily be worked in for your hands-on learners.

Seriously, I highly recommend Math Mammoth to any mom who has struggled to find the right math program. It has been the perfect fit for our family. You can order the complete Math Mammoth Lightbue Series Grade 1 or 2 downloadable program (includes both A and B parts)for $29.70 or the print versions with CDS for $54. Personally I love how affordable the downloadable version is and that I can use it again and again. I simply print out about 50 pages at a time and put them in a 3 ring binder for the kids.

For more reviews of this and other series from Math Mammoth check out the TOS Crew Blog.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this review. I'm looking into math programs for next year and will have to take a closer look at Math Mammoth.



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